So unlike his previous work, I had the feeling Winslow "had always wanted to try political intrigue" as his motivation for this dog. It drones on interminably from cliché to cliché, never really building any suspense and it's protagonist is paper thin and not really very likable. By the time I gave up on the book (which I rarely do) I was hoping someone would just shoot the bastard.
About mid way through we are taken to a climactic moment that just begged for some imaginative escape or twist and we are offered a solution so implausible and uninspired that I thought the thing was over with, but sadly we had only reached the end of the first download.
With friend/fugitive Nate sidelined for nearly the entire story, Joe had to grin and bear it through this interesting tale of corruption in an US Government Agency, murder, and persecution setting the scene for a manhunt that includes even Joe's archenemy, the ex-sherriff.
Joe is pushed to his seemingly bottomless limit of patience, but preservers against tremendous, some might say 'overdone', odds to emerge unemployed but victorious. Box writes cluttered novels that stretch plausibility, but entertain very well.
I often feel like I am running out of quality authors in the mystery genre, but Box has made the cut as I near the end of this series quite satisfied.
note: Publisher's Note is full of discrepancies and errors. Don't they proof-read their own stuff? Seriously embarrassing!
Protagonist is so amoral and insensible and as he very rarely is moved by anything other than murder and the tactics related thereto, he becomes more than a little boring. Conditioned to believe that no matter how inescapable his current dilemma, the reader knows he will indeed escape, the books are missing a major element or contingency that make continuing palatable.
He needs a (near) fatal flaw.
Consistency, Continuity, Talent with Voices.
When signing a narrator for a series, the author or his agent should actually listen to the candidates. Folks that read series become accustomed to the narrator's interpretation of the work and changing mid-stream in this occasionally engaging story line simply ruined it for me. Mr. Schiner is particularly bad at simulating female voices and this alone left me nonplussed and a bit angry, two emotions that most authors would rather avoid.
Shame on you, Krueger! This series is a bit thin and ponderous to begin with and this faux pas may spell an early end to my Cork O'Connor patronage.
Re: John Corey Series
DeMilIe, like all new (to me) authors, was read chronologically. The formula is identical in all these ponderous tales, with three or four climaxes along the way. The finale is usually anti-climactic and relatively weak relative to the gore and terror along the way. The demeanor and moral emptiness of Corey is revealed in Wildfire, where our 'hero' nearly succumbs to his primeval reality and allows that perhaps this end does justify this means. The sub-context of his work is that unless the Muslim world is annihilated, it is just a matter of time before nuclear war is delivered to our door by these madmen.
Huge sections of these books are interchangeable with similar parts of the others. They drone on and on with Corey defying the clueless machinations of the FBI and the sinister CIA. If you do not believe that we are helplessly fumbling our way toward global Armageddon, then these books are not for you.
Meanwhile DeMille rakes in millions by simply asking, "what if?". Are these books a call to arms to the violent, lunatic fringe? They may well be. DeMille's self-serving arrogance takes a grain of truth all the way to the bank.
This tome haas Virgil at his best, the hormonal sleuth fights off the babes as he fights crime in this caper with not only international intrigue, his is tossed into the world's hottest frying pan. Don't want to throw too much out there, but Sanford may rile some feathers with the light hearted touch he lays on terrorism and terrorists.
This plot has a new, higher levels of deception and machination that will have some comparing him to James Bond (with a fishing rod rather than a Beretta)!
Thoroughly enjoyed this romp!
A whiz-bang, non-stop caper with multiple angles of pursuit. The Gray man appears to have met his match and maybe had too much of a peek into his creation this time out. This time around Gentry is getting tired and manhunt technology is evolving faster than his skills of evasion, but he is the Gray Man and he is the best.
I'll not going to nit-pic this fine novel of intrigue and sometimes over-the-top brutality. It is superb escapist writing and I'm all for that!
Once the silly "I work from the back seat of a car" gimmick wears thin, a few minutes at best, we are left we what appears to me a book written by someone other than the author of the Harry Bosch novels. The ill-timed phrasing and awkward reading of this narrator just makes things worse for me.
The story lurches from cliched event/character to another and the author's (I do not believe Connolly wrote this or perhaps Bosch is someone else's work!) inability to make it sound anything but contrived and banal is just to much for me to stomach.
Does an author's fames give him license to bore us to death. Now there's a murder mystery plot worth pursuing!
I really enjoy Hickam's folksy, sharp toned story telling. His characterizations are well formed and plausible and these believable characters, far-fetched as they sometimes are, dew you in to 'know' and relate to them. This story tweaks history in a meaningful way and this reader brings them vividly to life. The problem with war stories is many times they push our sensitivities to the raw end of reality and Homer takes this brutality at times a bit too far. Gratuitous, even. Some of these scenes are sprinkled then culminated with heads rolling (literally) and human flesh finding its way onto the menu. But it is not so prevalent as to ruin the story's momentum.
This is neither my first Hickam tome, nor will it be my last. But the ending here is badly conceived and very clumsy. Admittedly, this tale would require a masterly conclusion considering the lengths to which we are taken. But Hickam falls very short of pulling it off. I was physically uncomfortable as I cringed and squirmed in my seat as he fumbled his way through it, but it did not completely detract from my enjoyment of this odd tale.
I am also pleased to discover that Stephen Hoye rivals Michael Kramer whom I consider the very best at droll, ironic humor. Kramer as the narrator is damn near enough to convince me to try a book, Fantasy excursions excluded, of course.
I wanted to be fair. I wanted to not think that an ex-TV guy that landed (all too briefly) on a great series idea/character, would not let his resultant villa in the South of France dilute his ability to write. So I waited a few months and read/listened to it again, and it just gets worse. Child (or whatever his real name is) likely pays someone to write this melba toast blather. And poor old Dick Hill, who was ill-fitted from the start, is sounding older than ever and decidedly unlike a middle-aged butt-kicker/philosopher.
The simple formula of happening across a wrong to right, then mowing his way through the obstacles like a rototiller after cleverly discerning the 'clues', has seen far better days. And it happened several books ago. I am astonished that late-comers even stuck around. I'm afraid Lee Child (or whatever his name is) has sunk his hooks into the 'dumbing down of the American gray matter' and the teeming masses just do not know any better.
I think those of us with any integrity left and understand what good writing can be, will reject this sub-par formulaic tripe and head for greened pastures.
Spent too much time sorting out the players in a muddled opening and it did not get better. I guess this has something to do with the genetics of identical twins, but frankly, who cares. Just because Turow tries to spice it up with politicians and billionaires, does not an interesting novel make. More evidence of a one-hit wonder!
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